Appleton Police remind people they can’t take donations from places like Goodwill

After receiving a theft complaint from Goodwill, Appleton Police are reminding people they are not allowed to take donations from the store.
Updated: Apr. 19, 2022 at 6:15 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - While one man’s trash may be another man’s treasure, Appleton Police want to remind people that donations, to places like Goodwill, aren’t free for the taking.

As people begin their spring cleaning, traffic at donation sites like Goodwill, is expected to pick up. And while most places have specific hours when items can be dropped off, sometimes things are left behind after hours, or they’re overflow and haven’t been brought inside yet.

The Appleton Police Department recently took a theft complaint from Goodwill about an item left outside, in the donation area, that was then taken away by someone who had no right to the donation.

“In speaking with Goodwill staff, it sounds like those items actually could have been used to be sold to be able to provide another job to somebody at Goodwill,” says Lt. Meghan Cash.

That’s why items, once dropped off for donation, at Goodwill, are considered Goodwill property. And, taking the donated items could be crime. According to Lt. Cash, “Sometimes this is a theft of items. In this case, Goodwill has decided that that’s not the route they want to go, but unfortunately this is still considered a theft in the State of Wisconsin.”

So, the Appleton Police Department took to social media to remind people, items left outside Goodwill stores are donations -- and not abandoned -- free for the taking. Goodwill of Northeast Wisconsin touts its successes -- thanks to the donations to its stores.

A phone recording for the organization says, “When you shop in one of our many stores in Northcentral Wisconsin you’ll have a real shopping experience and you’ll have the satisfaction of helping to support programs and services that make a really difference in our community. Increase your good will.”

Proceeds from Goodwill stores help with job training and skill building. So, taking an item, meant as a donation, has a lasting impact. Lt. Cash adds, “Because these are items that are helpful to have that greater mission within our community. To be able to give items back to people, provides jobs for people.”

Visit the Goodwill website for more information on its donation days and times.

Copyright 2022 WBAY. All rights reserved.